Don't Miss This Restaurant!
by Gris Gris on 4/19/10
Le Foret was such a treat. There were very few people there Easter night. I hope that was just because it was a slow night. I know restaurants in the Quarter were very crowded for lunch. Muriel's was packed when we ate there and I went to visit a few friends at Arnaud's for their late afternoon lunch and it was packed and hopping, as well. Maybe Le Foret had a big lunch business earlier. I hope so because I want this restaurant to make it, badly.
There weren’t many tables in the area where we sat and I didn’t see other areas with seating when I went to the ladies room. I’d say there were about 12, 4 top tables. It’s a pretty room, with mild colors and big windows, which I liked. We had a lovely waiter named Adopho, I believe. He said his name several times, but quickly and with a heavy accent. He told us all about his Katrina evacuation when was very interesting. He’s still working on his home.
When we sat down, they immediately picked up 3 of the white napkins and replaced them with black ones for those of us in dark pants. I love that because I can’t stand white napkin fuzz on my clothes and I'd already "de-fuzzed" from lunch.
As soon as we sat down, we were treated with a tiny dish with a jumbo lump of crabmeat sitting on a bright green pea puree, white wine jelly and topped with caviar. They also brought 4 gougeres, which were like cheese flavored cream puffs, but without the filling. The cheese was cooking in to the gougere. Lovely flavors.
After we ordered, they brought us each a white rectangular plate which contained a demitasse of cauliflower veloute. Mildly flavored, but delicious. The dish also contained a cucumber cup filled with a spicy salmon tartare. In the center were two paper thin crackers, shaped like rabbits, which were held together by rabbit pate, so that they were standing up on the plate. There’s a photo of those on the restaurant site. All of these little treats were wonderful. Some nice hot fresh bread arrived, thereafter.
Next, the apps arrived. Diner 1 had the oysters-rockefeller style, which were outstanding. They were not the traditional rock, but somewhat creamy. They were described as spinach and celery fondue and pernod glacage gratinee. I tasted one and I could have licked the shells because the sauce was so good.
I had the chevre and artichoke soufflé, which was a fresh artichoke heart, roasted, I think, with a puffy chevre on top. It sat in artichoke veloute with crispy pieces of prosciutto ham. This guy knows sauces. It was outstanding.
Diner 2 had a salad described at crabment in ravioli with heirloom beets and a winter citrus lemon horseradish vinaigrette. This was very unique. There was no pasta. The beets were sliced very thin and loaded with some of the crabmeat, so that the beets were the pasta and looked like ravioli. Very unique and quite delicious. Diner 1 ordered this, as well. She had 2 apps rather than an entrée.
Diner 3 had a braised leek and medjool date salad, with frisee, walnut, shaved celery, gorgonzola dolce and white balsamic vinaigrette. Excellent.
Diner 2's entre was roasted tenderloin of nature fed beef with potato mille feuille, jardinière vegetables, pancetta, and béarnaise, but I didn’t see the béarnaise. His sauce was dark brown and just wonderful. Being a potato lover, he really loved the potato prep. It looked like a large square piece of potato that had been pan sautéed to a golden brown on each side, but it was actually, thin rectangular pieces of potato stuck together to make the square, so that you could separate the slices when you cut it. Very unique. I've seen this on a French Laundry blog I read.
I had the grilled roasted rack of veal, served with wild mushrooms, cippolini onions, green peppercorns, cognac and almond cream. It was actually a thick veal chop cut from the racks such that the top and bottom had not been seared, somewhat like the way prime rib is served. It also had the neatest potato on the top. It was like thin potato slices placed such that made a flower head about 4 or so inches wide, but perfectly browned and perfectly flat, almost like parchment paper. It made for a superb presentation. The veal and the sauce were simply outstanding. I savored every bite and I could have eaten it again for breakfast.
Diner 3 had the roasted saddle of Colorado lamb saltimbocca, with fava beans, morel mushrooms, prosciutto, sage and marsala. I didn’t see any bones. There appeared to be about 3 or 4, 2-3 inch circles of lamb, medium rare. He said it was wonderful.
We were pretty full, but we ordered a caramelized milk soufflé with an imported chocolate sauce, which was light and tasty even before we poured on the sauce, which was the tastiest chocolate sauce I’ve ever had. We all shared that, just to have a little taste of something sweet.
After dessert, another plate appeared with 12 treats. There were 4 tiny French macaroons, chocolate puffy cookies with cinnamon and powdered sugar and tiny thin crispy almond cookies. All very good. THEN, when we got up to leave, the girl at the door handed each of us a lemon madeleine in a cellophane bag tied with a ribbon to have in the morning. It was delicious, as well.
Service was perfect. Servings were plenty generous. In fact, they were probably more than we needed.
I’d go back to this restaurant in a heartbeat. It was simply outstanding and first class. In fact, I wish I was eating there again, this evening.
I wrote this hastily, so pardon any typos or misspellings. Since it's still quite new, I thought some folks might be interested in our experience. I highly recommend this restaurant. It would get 5 stars plus from me.
We also ate at Muriel's, La Petite Grocery, Cafe Giovanni, Antoine's and Luke. I'll try to put something on the restaurant review site or here, later on.